What are the benefits of working with the Wetlands Initiative staff?
The Wetlands Initiative's Board of Directors and staff are committed to making it cost-free for farmland owners to explore whether a Smart Wetland will work on their property. Landowners are not obligated to commit to installing a Smart Wetland until they sign an FSA or NRCS conservation program agreement, or a commitment letter with TWI. TWI has successfully installed several Smart Wetlands and has developed a streamlined process from outreach to installation.
Since TWI's work only focuses on wetlands and their associated habitats, farmland owners can be assured they are working with highly skilled professionals who have decades of experience designing, building, restoring, and maintaining wetlands in Illinois.
TWI currently is offering grants to help cover construction and seeding costs not covered by USDA Farm Bill programs.
Who makes smart wetlands happen?
Four Wetlands Initiative staff members work to bring Smart Wetlands to the farmland of central Illinois.
jill Kostel, pHD
Jill Kostel leads the project team as TWI's Senior Engineer and primary designer of Smart Wetlands. With TWI's Executive Director, she also works to develop new partnerships to help spread constructed wetlands widely in Illinois.
To email Jill: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean McGuire is our Field Outreach Specialist on this project and the face of TWI in the counties where we work. She works with our partners to identify landowners who may have an interest in building a Smart Wetland on their property.
To email Jean: email@example.com
Jim Monchak assists Jill with site assessments, develops maps of potential Smart Wetlands sites, and uses modeling software to estimate the nutrient removal they could achieve.
Rick Seibert leads the installation of native plants in a Smart Wetland once it is built, and assists the landowner with any needed site management in the first two years after installation.
Karl Rockne and MAHSA IZADMEHR
Professor Karl Rockne and graduate student Mahsa Izadmehr of the University of Illinois at Chicago partner with TWI to conduct water quality and research on Smart Wetlands to measure their nutrient removal efficacy.
We could not do this work without the financial and professional support of these partners.
Lasalle County SWCD
Could a Smart Wetland be right for your farm? Request a consultation.